Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Election Day One - Palace Day

I've finally managed to take my shoes off after a hectic day. The first day of an election campaign (known as Palace Day because it's the day that the PM goes to ask the Monarch to call the election) is always centred on London.

The schedule today involved Nick Clegg giving a speech to party workers at Cowley Street, followed by a strategy meeting with Vince Cable and some of the key advisors. I got a sneak preview at the press conference venue (the first presser is tomorrow). It's at the Work Foundation near St James' Park and the venue is a swish office and conference centre. It will no doubt become home from home over the next month.

After that it was off to Watford to see the wonderful Sal Brinton. Sal fought the Watford seat last time and leap-frogged the Conservatives to take second place, just behind Labour. This is one of the few seats that could genuinely be called a three horse race. The Tories though have had significant problems with their former candidate being convicted of running a particularly hate filled and vicious campaign of intimidation against Sal and local residents.

I think Sal would make a fantastic MP and I'm really hoping that she can echo the success of Watford's directly elected Lib Dem Mayor, Dorothy Thornhill.

In Watford Nick took part in a Q&A with young people. Who says that young people are not interested in the same issues as older voters? The questions included PFI for hospitals and pensions.

On the way out of the venue there was the first mass activist greeting for Nick with the orange diamond supersigns very much in evidence.

And then it was onto Nick's bus for the first time. I'll blog more fully about the bus tomorrow. I may even give you a guided tour.

Tomorrow is the last Prime Minister's Questions before polling day - and it looks like being Gordon Brown's last as PM. Then we are off to Liverpool.

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